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More tourists drown in Hawaii than anywhere else in the U.S.

When you visit the islands on vacation, you are looking forward to relaxing in paradise, taking in the local sights and, of course, swimming. The last thing you would expect is to sustain an injury in a swimming accident. Unfortunately for many tourists in Hawaii, that is exactly what happens.

In fact, local research has shown that about one tourist a week suffers a fatal accident in the Aloha State. Motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other mishaps may be the cause, but the main element in fatal tourist accidents is water. Tourists often drown while snorkeling, surfing, swimming or scuba diving. Boating accidents also occur, especially when a boating trip involves alcohol. You may be surprised to learn that the drowning rate for tourists in Hawaii is 13 times higher than the national average, as well as 10 times higher than the drowning rate for Hawaiian locals.

How can you avoid a fatal accident in the water during your visit? The following tips might help:

  • Obey local signs and laws pertaining to the dangers in a particular area.
  • Wear a life jacket when boating and be responsible with alcohol.
  • Stay with your group when snorkeling or scuba diving and follow the guide’s advice.
  • Understand that ocean currents, tides, waves and reefs can be deadly.

You may reduce your chances of a vacation fatality or injury by understanding the risks and taking safety measures. However, you cannot always prevent the actions of others, some of which may put you in harm’s way. For example, a negligent tour guide might provide you with inadequate safety equipment or fail to advise you of a known hazard. If you are hurt or one of your family members suffers a serious or fatal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.

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